Smash. Bros-style brawlers been been done before, but rarely well. Sony’s own PS All-Stars Battle Royale was functionally good, but hurt by a somewhat weak roster. The folks at Z Games are looking to solve the roster problem by going with tried-and-true horror movie icons. Touch-based fighters are tricky, and the devs realize that and are optimizing the game’s controls to work intuitively with touch-only controls. However, the OUYA console will also be supported – allowing for native controller support as well. The fighting element looks outstanding – with a fast pace and easy to learn touch controls.
[Hardcore Gamer]The Kickstarter hype video talked about RPG elements being included in the gameplay, but didn’t elaborate much on them beyond showing some icons. What kind of elements are you looking to add to the game?
[David Zilberfayn] The game has some classic RPG elements such as stats, skills, perks, and we are working on a few others as well. As of now, we have 4 playable characters, each possessing a full set of stats that can be upgraded throughout the course of the game. Each character has their own unique skill tree that allows players to customize his fighter’s attacks and play style.
What led to the idea of a horror-themed fighting game? Was it simply a desire to use characters that were easy to recognize, but not outright owned by another company, or was it brought about by the team’s love of the characters in general?
The idea to create a fighting game where players could connect with their friends and battle it out in quick matches was the foundation idea of the game. We then dove deeper into this idea and began to discuss theme. We pretty quickly came up with and decided that a horror theme would allow us to create characters that could be recognizable to all people. 9 months later we have added some fantasy and steampunk elements into the theme. For example the Yeti is not so much of a horror-themed character, but we feel that he fits in well with the rest of the cast.
How hard was it to craft a Smash Bros. gameplay style using a simplified and button-loss touch-based setup? Was it aided by that style of fighting game generally needing fewer buttons than something like a Street Fighter game, or was it more a matter of figuring out how to get natural-feeling controls regardless of the fighting game style?
When the team first started creating the game we had on screen buttons. About 3-4 months into development our lead game designer came up with the idea of creating a gesture based control. We definitely wanted to keep controls simple for a touch screen device while not limiting the diversity of the character’s attacks.
Ideally, how many characters would you like to have playable in the game and how hard was it to narrow things down to four core playable characters?
We would like to introduce 4 more characters to the game. At first we had a cast of Werewolf, Grim Reaper, Vampire, and Zombie. The team created some concept sketches of the zombie and we began to move forward with development. A few weeks later when it came time to 3D model the character, we decided that we needed a different style character in order to make the game more balanced. And that’s where the Yeti came in.
How smoothly has development gone so far? Have there been any major hurdles so far or has it been smooth sailing? Which platform has posed the most challenges for the team?
Development has gone fairly smoothly. We are developing using Unity 3D, which makes things easier, but we still have faced some tasks that took time to overcome. Our real-time multiplayer server required a lot of back end code and the team spent many hours fixing latency issues.
The OUYA really lacks a good fighting game and Fright Fight looks to be just what it needs. What about the system appeals to you and will controller support be available in the touch-based versions of the game as well or ?
The OUYA is a really interesting new device that really gives developers the chance to bring console quality titles at a more affordable cost. The fact that OUYA is Android powered also makes the process much easier for us. Once we port the game over to Android smart phones and tablets, it will be a matter of a few weeks before we have Fright Fight running smoothly on the OUYA. Not sure about controller support for touch-based devices yet, but we have definitely thought about it.
The OUYA Forum has taken quite a shine to the game. Did you expect OUYA owners to embrace the game as much as they have?
Yeah the OUYA Forum has been very receptive of the game. To be honest, I didn’t know what to expect, but we definitely felt that we were creating a game that wasn’t available yet, and that gamers would hopefully want to play it 🙂
After Fright Fight, what have you all got planned? Is supporting Fright Fight the main priority, or are there any new games in the planning stages yet?
Right now, we are really focused on finishing up Fright Fight and releasing the game on iOS, Android, OUYA, and maybe even the NVIDIA Shield. We would also like to bring Fright Fight to PC/Mac and hopefully even PSN/XBLA/Wii U. Our main priority is Fright Fight, but we have already begun brainstorming ideas of our next title.